Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Personality Theories, Psychodynamic
Patricia L. Kaminski
The set of theories of personality development that are referred to collectively as psychodynamic or psychoanalytic vary dramatically in their specifics, but share a common lineage and several core concepts. Scholars agree that Sigmund Freud, the famous and controversial Austrian neurologist who wrote the first comprehensive theory of personality development, laid the foundation for all subsequent psychoanalytic theories. Similarly, the fundamental principles that tie psychodynamic theories together can be traced back to Freud's theory of psychoanalysis. Aspects of personality development common to all psychodynamic theories are (1) the existence and importance of the unconscious and (2) the significance of childhood relationships and experiences in shaping personality. Psychodynamic theories are often further categorized according to other features they share, but there is no consensus on how various theories should be grouped. Moreover, many advocates of a psychoanalytic approach contend that, although various factions may disagree on the abstract theory that guides ...